If you’re like me, then you are anticipating the release of the next generation of gaming consoles with baited breath. Last week I gave you a run-down of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and what to expect from it, and you can find a link to that article here. This week we will take a look at Microsoft’s new piece of hardware, the Xbox One.
Microsoft’s fantastic invitation commercial.
This essentially touches on what I spoke of regarding the PS4 last week, that both of these systems are very powerful pieces of technology and even at launch will show off some impressive graphics compared to your PS3 or Xbox 360. Both of these new systems are put together quite similarly to a PC, which is definitely helping with what developers are doing in creating new games for these systems. One of the key features of the Xbox One however, is that thanks to Microsoft’s investment into cloud technology, developers are able to potentially harness cloud tech to make games look better and run better. It’s still early however, but down the line I am certain that there will be some impressive looking Xbox One games.
Microsoft has gone on the record stating that they are spending an incredible amount of money in ensuring there are plenty of exclusives on the Xbox One. At launch there are a number of great looking exclusives hitting the system, alongside staples like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Ryse is a gorgeous looking game from Crytek studios, focusing on ancient Rome and plenty of bloody combat. Dead Rising 3, which is actually being made right here at Capcom Vancouver, is the third in the survival horror series and looks to include even more zombies than before and the ability again to construct crazy weapons out of various objects found in the city. There are a number of other titles like Forza 5 and Killer Instinct coming out, as well as titles like Halo 5 and Fable Legends and perhaps the most anticipated title of them all, Titanfall.
Respawn’s Titanfall is one of the most anticipated next-gen experiences.
This is perhaps where Microsoft’s new system takes things a step up from the PlayStation 4, and all of this, I feel, is thanks to Skype. Over a year ago, when Microsoft purchased Skype, people wondered what they would do with the technology and if it would come to consoles. It never materialized on the 360, but it is one of the most prominent features of the Xbox One by way of the new Kinect 2.0. As Microsoft is aiming to make their console more of a centrepiece of the living room-experience than Sony is, the ability to be watching TV and then accept a Skype call and do both at the same time on your TV is pretty impressive. There are a number of other features that Microsoft is hoping will keep players connected and not just through gaming, but through things like fantasy football leagues and their new television programming. Lastly, much like the PS4, you can record and stream game footage and run it through Twitch, making both of the new systems appealing to aspiring streaming celebrities.
Here is where things get a little bit dicey and how Sony might beat Microsoft out of the gate. The Xbox One costs $499.99 versus the PS4’s slightly more manageable price of $399.99. This of course, is because of the inclusion of the brand new Kinect 2.0, which does seem to be a nice little piece of tech. While Microsoft has now said that the Kinect doesn’t have to be on all the time (as they originally had announced) they have also said that they will not sell the system without it, which could put it around the same price as the PS4. Also, you will need to pay for Xbox Live once again to play games online as well as use Skype and most other apps on the system, but if you have a Gold membership on the 360 it works for the Xbox One as well.
The return of Master Chief in Halo 5.
My Final Verdict
So there we have it. A summary of the Xbox One and what it is going to be capable of and a great deal more I am certain down the road. It seems like a great little machine, though the price tag and Kinect 2.0 are things I am not really a fan of. That being said, I will be picking up the PS4 on the 15th, as I am mostly looking for a pure gaming console, and not really the whole multimedia experience that Microsoft is marketing. Again, you can read my article detailing the PS4 here.
That’s my choice though, how about you? Post in the comments below what you will be getting and why.